Álvaro Díaz Dips His Toes in Jazz Rap on “Medusa”

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Álvaro Díaz
Courtesy of Álvaro Díaz
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Does Álvaro Díaz take any days off? Seems unlikely, as he’s continuing to churn out new, well-crafted work and elevating his crew’s profile in the days leading up to his headlining gig at Isle of Light, the Dominican Republic’s premier indie music festival. With the critical success of last fall’s ilumiLatin Vol. 1 and trap anthem “Principal” under his belt (which caught the eye of Apple Music), Díaz is prepping the release of his first full-length release, Díaz Buenos, Díaz Malos with the arrival of its first single, “Medusa.”

A disarmingly jazzy jaunt about the difficulties of a love that constantly feels like war (“¿Quien es esa zorra que no para de escribirte en Twitter?”), was produced by Díaz’s regular collaborators Young Martino and Caleb Calloway, as well as Lv Ciudvd signees Lara Project. Unlike ilumiLatin‘s A$AP-tinged New York Tumblr rap, the saxophone-laden “Medusa” feels more like a production that would be at home on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.

On top of completing his own debut and crafting a dynamic squad in the form of the Lv Ciudvd collective (Lara Project, producers Martino and Calloway, and MC Deborah Blues, who recently dropped her first solo single) Díaz will perform at SXSW on March 17 and 18. It seems like Puerto Rico’s hip-hop chosen one isn’t slowing his roll any time soon.